Ever since I made the decision to become vegan I have encountered many critics of the lifestyle. Many people do not realize the health benefits of a plant based diet, but then again I didn’t until I did my research. We grow up with this ingrained “knowledge” of what foods are essential and are told that we can only get certain nutrients from specific sources. This is simply not true and this is the beginning of a series of vegan myths that I will debunk for you.
Myth #1: You can’t get enough protein on a vegan diet.
Truth: You can get more protein than your body needs on a vegan diet.
Most people think that protein only comes from animal sources. This is due to many, many years of thinking of food groups in the form of vegetables, fruit, grain, and meat. Most meals are served with meat as the main feature, the protein portion of the meal. Fad, high protein diets are advertised showing plates of chicken, beef, eggs, cheese and even bacon as the staples. ( I really don’t understand how Mr. Atkins got so many people to buy into this high fat, artery-clogging diet.) It is so easy, and much healthier, to get protein from a variety of sources other than animals and you have so many options to choose from. Beans, nuts, lentils, grains, tofu, tempeh, seitan, etc, are all great plant proteins. When I used to eat meat, I found it very boring. I mean, you can only cook chicken a certain number of ways to try to make it exciting. However, beans alone can offer you so many meal options including soups, stews, burritos, spreads, dips, salads, pasta dishes, rice dishes, hummus……..I could go on and on. Next let’s compare the nutrition between a serving of beans vs. steak.
20% of calories from protein
80% of calories from fat
0% of calories from complex carbs
Contains excess hormones
25% of calories from protein
5% of calories from fat
70% of calories from complex carbs
Helps discharge excess hormones
High in fiber
On top of all this, plant proteins are much less expensive than animal proteins. So there you have it, Myth #1 debunked. I’m not trying to convince you to give up meat, but to think outside the box and open your mind to the variety of food sources mother nature has provided us with.